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Justified: Grace & Faith, So No Law or Works?

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Written by BGU

By Ed Dudek

Paul’s conclusion in Romans chapter 3 is that a person is justified, that is, brought into right standing with God and counted righteous by means of faith quite apart from any observance of the Law. So does that mean that we nullify the Law and put an end to it through faith? Not really! Christ personally carried our sins in His own body on the Cross so that we, having died to our own sins and having broken free from them, might live for righteousness. We uphold the law and sustain its authority by proclaiming it to lead people to Christ, and by obeying it through faith and love in the power of the Holy Spirit! *Rom.4:28; Rom.3:31; I Pe.2:14; Rom.8:2-4*

The new regenerate person in Christ is created to be like God in righteousness and holiness that comes from the truth of the Gospel. The outcome of this new life in the Light is righteousness, truth and every form of good. As John says, “If we know that Christ is righteous, then we can be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of God, and is His child” (I Jn.2:29). John later tells his readers to not let anyone deceive them or lead them astray because it is the one who is practicing righteousness that is righteous, just as Christ is righteous (I Jn.3:7). And as we saw in an earlier blog, it’s not those who hear the Law read who are righteous in the sight of God, but it is those who obey it who are given an affirmative judgment and verdict of being justified. *Eph.4:24; 5:9; Rom.2:13*

The Scriptures tell us to yield ourselves to God as those who are dead to Sin—separated from it–and alive unto Him. And we are to offer every part of our bodies to be used as instruments of righteousness for doing what is right. Serving our God in obedience, results in righteousness, which leads to holiness. Clearly, we are to be “servants of righteousness” (Rom.6:18). *Rom.6:13,16,19*

At times the sufferings or trials that we are enduring are for our discipline. And God disciplines us for our good so that we may share in His holiness. Let’s face it, all discipline at the time doesn’t seem pleasant, but painful; but afterwards it does yield the peaceful fruit of a righteous life. And the harvest that uprightness yields is grown from the seed of peace by peacemakers. *Heb.12:7,10-11; Ja.3:18*

Along with godliness, faith, love, steadfast endurance and gentleness, we are to pursue or “run after righteousness” (I Tim.6:11, NTME). God’s will for you and for me is that our lives bear a rich harvest of the righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ and by which we also bring glory to God. The Kingdom of God consists in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom.14:17). And God’s saving grace teaches us, and trains and disciplines us to renounce ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age while we wait for the glorious Appearing of Christ. So yes, grace and faith also involve law and works. *Phil.1:11; Titus 2:12-13; II Tim.2:22*

Why write so many blogs about justification? Is it really that important? We’ll deal with those questions in our last blog about being “justified.”
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